Queen-ing Shoes

These are my favorite heels! Yes a post about heels. The reason these are my favorite pair, out of almost 50 pairs, is because of the colors and the stones. I bought these shoes circa 2013 while I was visiting in Dallas, Texas. I immediately fell in love with them honestly. They are a vibrant shoe that can be seen miles away.

fullsizeoutput_2d81But, there is another reason why I love this shoe. I’ll tell you if you promise not to tell anyone.

I love this shoe because it represents my personality. I feel so unique and stylish when I strut across the street. These shoes seem to make a statement about me before I open my mouth. Another reason why I love these shoes is because I bought them at a time when I didn’t have the highest self-esteem. Yes, I wanted to be fabulous, feel pretty, and the like, but I didn’t have confidence in myself. Namely, because I allowed myself to settle for less than God had for me. In every area of my life, I refused to pay the price of becoming. This entails becoming who I was created to be.

Why you may ask? Why were you so comfortable with settling? Because I lacked identity in Christ. This may sound cliché but it’s not. When we lack identity in Christ, we lack the clearest perception of ourselves. We struggle to be better, live better, and make better choices. We become complacent because we may feel that we don’t deserve God’s best, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

Women, we are called to be queens. Think about Queen Esther. She didn’t have anything when she went into the palace to assume her royal position. In fact, she was an orphan–both her parents were gone and was raised by her male cousin. Likewise, though I’m no orphan in the natural, I was one in the spirit. I wandered around, ignoring God’s call on my life and living quite reckless.

But, when I saw the shoe in the store, I was drawn to it. I was drawn to its beauty and it’s difference. There aren’t many shoes in my closet that I can say the same about, but this one, I believe was picked out for me. I didn’t know back then that God was starting a process that would lead me to this place. That he was positioning me to talk these shoes years later.

Now, I can write about this purchase in retrospect because I took the time to find my identity in him. I took the time to seek him–though not willingly at first. I took the long path, but you don’t.

While I can pinpoint certain areas of my walk with certain purchases, certain thoughts, and interactions, they all go back to the spiritual walk I underwent. The identity that I lacked, and the very low self-esteem I once had. Ladies, your identity is never in a relationship, nor defined by who didn’t choose you. But, it is identified by Christ who knew you before the foundations of the world.

Homework:

Your homework is to go in your closet and find your favorite heel. Identify why you like it, when you bought it, and what state of mind you were in. Then access if you’re still married to those emotions and write why the shoe is still your favorite. This simple step will help you access growth.

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I Survived My First Vegetarian Holiday–Thanksgiving

Can I be honest? I was a little worried about today. I’ve only been completely vegetarian since September and haven’t had any real issues with keeping it up. Granted, it can be a bit of an inconvenience at times, I’ll admit. But, everything has been in my control.

So with Thanksgiving approaching I was a bit hesitant about spending time with friends over food. Why? Because I wasn’t sure if I’d be strong enough to stick to the decision I made a short while ago. Yes, Yes, I know, you’re probably like it’s not a big deal. But it is.

See in the past I can’t say that I had the best discipline practices. In fact, there were time were I allowed my flesh to dictate what I would do. If it wanted to flirt with this guy, I would do it. If I wanted to entertain certain conversations ,I was down. I mean I was undisciplined. Unfortunately, discipline was a word that I can’t say I fully understood. In fact, I wasn’t practicing discipline if I were not tempted.

So, with all the turkey, ham, beef, neckbones, chicken, and everything else around, I can’t lie and say I didn’t think about relapsing. However, the thing that kept me from satisfying my body and tearing into some turkey is the reminding myself of the reason why I went vegetarian. More importantly, I had to think on how long the journey has been to get me to this place.

In a previous post, I talked about the process of removing meat from my diet. It wasn’t a quick decision but one I eased into overtime. I had to learn to replace certain foods to substitute for the needed nutrients. I remember one time my body was shutting down quickly because I didn’t replace the protein I was missing from the meat. I was dizzy, didn’t have energy, had a headache, blurry vision etc. I didn’t prepare properly and as a result I suffered for a hot second.

Reflecting on those moments, the commitment I made to myself, and the lessons I learned along the way made me realize that I didn’t want to trade it for one day. I didn’t want to let go of the standard that I worked hard to maintain just because temptation was before me. I wanted to be at peace with myself even after thanksgiving. I also didn’t want to start all over when I could keep pressing!

So many times when we are on the right track roadblocks will surface and we have to make a choice. Do we backtrack or do we find an alternative route to get us to our destination? Today I decided to find the alternate route. My progress wasn’t worth the sacrifice nor was my commitment to myself. Was it hard, sort of. But so are other things in my life that I conquer.

I decided not to give myself an excuse to live lower than the standard I set for myself, and it taught me a valuable lesson!

I want to leave you with this:

1 Corinthians 10:13 (AMP) “No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].”

Indeed this rings true today!

xoxo

-B

On Why I became a Vegetarian

When I tell people that I’m vegetarian, it’s usually met with a moment of silence. No, seriously, they get silent then ask why. On the surface, I became vegetarian because I wanted to see if I could do it. But on deeper levels there is a more personal reason.

On September 6, 2016 (the day after Labor day) I started a Daniel Fast. The fast was something that I was avoiding like a plague because it would require a level of discipline that I wasn’t accustomed to having. Anyone who has done, or attempted to do a Daniel Fast knows how rigorous it can be. Well, it was the first time that I completed that type of fast and succeeded. The fast was tough initially because I had to deny my body things that it craved. I believe it was the mental struggle that was the most daunting of all. After the fast, I made the final decision to stop eating meat and fully throw myself into the vegetarian lifestyle.

While I use my decision with the fast to pinpoint a date when I made up my mind to change, it happened long before then. I believe that God was guiding me towards this lifestyle for approximately 2years prior to my decision. It started with little things at first. The first meat to go was pork. Ironically, when I was younger and well into my adult years, I loved sausage and bacon. I mean breakfast wasn’t complete without Bob Evans sausage at breakfast. However, slowly but surely I lost the desire for pork. There was one time in particular that I attempted to fry some pork chops and when I took the first bite into the chop, I tasted what seemed to be a wild taste. When I say “wild” taste, I really mean something that is kind of unexplainable. Have you ever went to a zoo and saw pigs? DO you remember what they smelled like? Perhaps a bit dirty, unclean, or like animals smell. Well somehow that smell transformed into a taste in my body. I know it sounds weird, but I wasn’t able to touch pork much after that. You may think that I can chalk it up to a bad experience with the chop but it extends beyond that meal. The sausage and bacon started to take on the same form of taste for me. Now, this devastated me because I loved pork. But, I couldn’t bring myself to eat it after awhile.

So, when I stopped eating pork in 2015, I substituted it for more turkey. The turkey was cool and fulfilling. I would eat turkey bacon for breakfast to replace the pork and would be fine. I ate turkey bacon up until the day I decided to become vegetarian. As far as beef is concerned, I’ve always had a love hate relationship with it. My family are avid steak and burger eating people. I was literally raised on chuck steaks and burgers. However, I noticed that the heaviness of the beef always left me sluggish, or in my family we call it “the itis.”I wasn’t able to eat much of it as time progressed because it would leave me unproductive. So beef wasn’t something that I struggled to remove.

Now I’m not eating pork or beef so my go to food is chicken. Chicken Chicken Chicken!! I mean I would eat chicken all day long. LBS. Anyway, chicken was perhaps the hardest to stop eating. In June of 2016 I challenged myself to stop eating chicken and teach myself to like fish. I was “challenge” because I’ve never been a fish eater. I didn’t like the smell of it nor the taste. I used to reason that it had a “fresh water” taste to it, so I wanted to avoid it like a plague. However, I taught myself to like fish and became pescatarian. From June-September I only ate fish and it was great. I kind of miss fish unfortunately. Since I was new to the fish gang I only consumed salmon and tilapia. Those two…ok I have to stop  because I might have a relapse.

Anywho, this brings me to the present. When I finished the fast, I didn’t have a desire to go back to meat. If I did, it would only be out of religious practice. Meaning, because it has been a part of who I am for so long, it would be expected of me. Yet, I didn’t want to do something that was expected of me any longer. I wanted to live above the status quo of who I was and do something different.

This desire is largely tied to my spiritual walk. I came to Christ in 2013 and was completely lost. Just like I loss the taste for certain foods during my food journey, I lost the taste for certain sins. It is interesting now that I reflect upon it because I used to live a reckless life. I used to be undisciplined in a lot of ways and just did what I wanted to do. Now, the tables have turned.

One day, I might embark upon the vegan journey, but for now this is fine. Since I’ve been vegetarian, I’ve had to become more responsible in planning meals. Not only this, but I’ve been able to think more clearly, with a more sober mind than I once was.